Skip to main content

The Compelling Cross of Christ



"The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We're glad that you are here with us today. We can no longer afford to be indifferent, burying our heads in the sand and ignore the reality that Christian persecution is rapidly increasing in many countries throughout the world, as well as the vandalism and arson attempts of many churches. Please continue to pray for the effectiveness of the pastors that we've been working with as they continue to point the lost to Christ, in these highly volatile, hostile areas.

When people think about the crucifixion of Jesus, they tend to get caught up in the physical suffering, focusing on the horrifying images of Him virtually naked on a wooden cross, with blood streaming down His bruised and battered face from the crown of thorns, the nails piercing through His hands and feet of His beaten and scourged body. And as horrible as the physical anguish of the cross was, nothing compares to the suffering He experienced in anticipation of the wrath that would come against Him, that He willingly endured as our substitute for the sake of our redemption, the temporary separation from His Father, that is what caused Him to sweat drops of blood, as He prayed three separate times in the Garden of Gethsemane. I believe that every true Christian should humbly remember the immense suffering that our Lord Jesus Christ willingly endured on our behalf, every time we think about committing sin, that should cause us to rightly recoil at the idea, not to mention the reality of being caught in the act when He unexpectedly returns for His Church. As a Christian, you’ve been called to a life of holiness, that means your life must drastically differ from the unrepentant world around you. It is unfathomable that any true Christian would refuse to reject the temptations of the enemies trap, wanting to take as many to Hell with him as he can, to compromise their Christian integrity. You can hide your deception from men but you cannot hide from the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, He knows exactly what kind of people we are! Hebrews 10:31, "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Here's a surprise for you, a true Christian doesn’t need laws, we don’t need rules to obey a list of moral behaviors to please God, we obey out of love from our heart, because we have been delivered from sin and judgment, and we have been given the privilege to confess Him as our Lord and Savior. Therefore, we gladly take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ because we love Him. What could be more puzzling to the unredeemed of the world, who cannot understand that, it is incomprehensible to those who are in Satan’s kingdom.
If you will notice, none of the four Gospels tend to focus on lengthy, detailed descriptions of the crucifixion, because every person crucified in the land of Israel around this same period of time would have endured the same physical pain, including the two thieves on either side of Him. What is unique about Jesus' crucifixion. is His crucifiers mocked and ridiculed Him, treating Him with disdain, as if He was some kind of a joke. The Romans hated the Jews and the fact that Jesus was labeled as the King of the Jews, was even more humorous to them, this man wasn't a threat to anybody.
Mockery has been around since the beginning of mankind. Today, the sobering reality is over two thousand years after His crucifixion, the wicked still have the audacity to openly mock Christ in every part of the world, they can't control themselves, with many of them even going out of their way. I won't belabor the point, but I'm sure you've all heard about deeply offensive antics of  Bud Light, Target, Kohl's, Burger King and the L.A. Dodgers. It has become increasingly popular openly to mock anyone who professes belief in God for our moral absolutes, portraying us as bigoted, narrow-minded hatemongers, validating their hatred toward Christians; targeting churches with obscene graffiti and vandalizing them, scattering the torn pages from hymnals and Bibles across the floor of the sanctuary's. Proverbs 1:22, says "Scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge." Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them." The reality is that God’s Word will never penetrate the sinful soul, they will always continue to reject the Truth. No sinner can believe the Scriptures without the Holy Spirit revealing it to them. Then, as the Word of God is preached, it will convict the hearts of unbelievers and simultaneously sanctify the hearts of the redeemed. In spite of what many modern preachers believe, who are willing to sacrifice the Truth to build a ministry, saving faith does not rest on the wisdom of men, it is a divine work wrought by the Holy Spirit. Because the Word of God is living and active, it convicts us, instructs us, equips us, strengthens us, protects us, and enables us to grow. (cf. Hebrews 4:12.)
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, thank You for Your Word, we desperately need to be reminded how blessed we are to have the privilege to proclaim Your name, take Your truth and allow it to accomplish what You will. O' Lord, I pray that Your precious Word would reach those who remain in the darkness of this day with its glorious Light, penetrating the hardened, corrupted and deceptive hearts of the lost in this world. May we proclaim Your Word with urgency, in Truth and in love, offering grace and mercy where there is genuine repentance. 
In Jesus name,

Today's Message: The Compelling Cross of Christ

Take out your Bibles and open them with me, if you would, to the fifteenth chapter of Mark, verses sixteen through twenty-one. I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, may we hear the voice of our Lord with open ears and an open heart. Mark 15:16-21.

"The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.

They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross."
Let's look at verse 16, "The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort." Jesus hasn't been taken away to be crucified yet, He's now in the custody of the Roman soldiers who took Him into the Praetorium to guard Him after His scourging, as a prisoner until the final decision comes down. As we've noted several times before, a cohort would be six hundred men, which is one tenth of a legion. By the way, it's called praetorium because it was the residence of the Roman governor or praetor and the elite troops of the praetorian guard were quartered. Surely, it wouldn’t require six hundred men to guard Jesus in that condition, by this time, Jesus was a weak and bloody mess, quivering in pain.
Verse 17, "They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him." Mark, and John say purple, whereas Matthew says scarlet, skeptics claim it's a contradiction, it's not, there's actually integrity in the fact is doesn't cover up what looks like a discrepancy. If it had been written by men, they would have. Roman soldiers wore a rough, stiff scarlet covered mantle, worn over a period of years would have eventually faded in the sun. Matthew says they stripped Him first before putting the rough wool robe which would have become fused to His exposed bloody back, as it dried and coagulated. They had no concern for His pain, His suffering, they seemed to find pleasure in adding to His agony.
Because He was accused by the Jewish leaders of claiming to be king, the scarlet robe was to represent power and royalty. Then, they put a crown of thorns on Him, twisting it while pushing it down onto His head, the thorns would have punctured His head causing streams of blood to run down His face and the rest of His bloody body. The mock crown was intended to replicate the royal gold leaf wreath worn by Caesar to further carry out their mockery, a king would have held a scepter in his right hand, Matthew tells us they even put a reed in His right hand. These soldiers, having Jesus to themselves, are having fun humiliating Him, making Him the object of ridicule, all at Jesus' expense.
Verse 18 says, "And they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" To add insult to injury, John says they began striking Him with their hands, slapping Him in the face. Their mockery and humiliation of Jesus as a king has now descended to new low, reaching the point of blasphemy! They have no idea Who He was, nor did they care, only that He was a fool, a source for their amusement. It's difficult to even  imagine the degree of intense suffering and humiliation that Jesus willingly endured on our behalf. I challenge you to consider what great humiliation and suffering He endured, even before the cross, to reflect on just how much He loves you, the next time you're tempted to sin.
Verse 19, "They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him." The Greek word "kalamos," that was used for reed, describes a solid stick that grew along the Jordan River, used for a measuring rod. They kept beating Him in the head to inflict pain and heartless torture, doing exactly what they've been trained to do, inflict torture and kill. By the way, spitting on someone is considered to be the ultimate expression of disgust and disdain. Eventually, Pilate had enough, and finally put an end to their fun and they paraded Him out before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.
John says Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!" So they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" Pilate doesn’t want to kill Jesus. "The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Can you imagine, the religious leaders of Israel, who claimed to serve God, the experts in understanding the Scriptures making such a hypocritical statement said, "We have no king but Caesar." If you don’t think sin causes you to make stupid decisions, I encourage you to think again. It’s easy to overlook what the Bible teaches when our eyes are on the things of this world. They were like a pack of bloodthirsty animals who have tasted blood and now they ravenously want more. 
In 1656, Richard Baxter, one of the most famous Puritans of the seventeenth century, wrote these profound words of undeniable Truth, I have taken to my own heart, in his book The Reformed Pastor. "Take heed to yourselves, lest you live in those sins which you preach against in others, and lest you be guilty of that which daily you condemn. Will you make it your work to magnify God, and, when you have done that, dishonor Him as much as others? Will you proclaim Christ’s governing power, and yet condemn it, and rebel yourselves? Will you preach His laws, and willfully break them?

"If sin be evil, why do you live in it? If it be not evil, why do you dissuade men from it? If it be dangerous, how dare you venture on it? If it be not dangerous, why do you tell men it is? If God’s threatenings are true, why do you not fear them? If they are false, why do you needlessly trouble men with them, and put them into such frights without a cause? Do you know the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, and yet will you do them? Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?

"Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, or be drunk, or covetous, art thou such thyself? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? What! Shall the same tongue speak evil that speaks against evil? Shall those lips censure, and slander, and backbite your neighbor, that cry down these and the like things in others? Take heed to yourselves, lest you cry down sin, and yet do not overcome it; lest, while you seek to bring it down in others, you bow to it, and become its slave yourselves.

"For of whom a man is overcome, the same he is brought into bondage. To whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, His servants you are whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. O brethren! it is easier to chide at sin, than it is to overcome it." To sum it up briefly, there is a far greater potential risk of hypocrisy with those who claim to belong to Christ, who profess to represent Him, than with any other person, if there be a moral stain in our life that is inconsistent with what Scripture teaches. There is no neutrality with Christ, if you're not willing to deal with the sin in your life, intentionally living for Him, then you're complicit in living in rebellion against Him, to your own self-destruction.
Verse 20, "After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him." And they led Him out to crucify Him." Jesus warned them about this very thing in the Parable of the Landowner in Matthew 21, they seem to have forgotten that He was speaking about them. I imagine that as they ripped that purple robe off His back, reopening the painful bloody wounds, before leading Him away to crucify Him, to die the death you and I deserved! Pilate was later ordered back to Rome to stand trial for cruelty and oppression, particularly on the charge that he had executed men without a proper trial. According to Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History, Pilate killed himself on orders from the emperor Caligula.
That brings us to verse 21, "They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross." As they made their way from the Praetorium, toward the hill of Golgotha, often referred to as Calvary, which was just outside the city gates of Jerusalem, they saw a passer-by, a man from Cyrene named Simon, a Jewish man from North Africa who was in Jerusalem for the Passover. Now, the verb used for pressed, is "aggareuó," it means to compel or force by authority; it's the same word Jesus uses in Matthew 5:41, when He says "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two." Cyrene, near modern-day Shahhat, Libya, was founded in 631 B.C. by Greek colonists from the island of Thera, was the cultural center and port of trade in North Africa and there was a large Jewish community there according to Josephus. Today, Cyrene's ruins remain as a reminder of the region’s rich history. 
Notice Mark tells us the Simon of Cyrene is the father of Alexander and Rufus, because Mark's writing this to the church at Rome and Simon was a very common name, he wanted believers to be able to make the connection, this man who carried the cross of Christ, is the father of Alexander and Rufus, who are part of the church here in Rome. It was not by coincidence that the Roman soldiers just happen to accost this man out of the crowd of thousands who came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, because they cared about Jesus but clear evidence that God, by His divine providence, is carefully working out every detail on His timetable. Considering all that Jesus had already endured, He would have been unable to carry the cross any distance, He needed to be on the cross soon to die at 3:00, the time when the Passover lambs are slain. I believe it is the unexpected burdens in life that are thrown at us, when we're called to do something we don’t want to do that can define our life, I've no doubt that Simon of Cyrene's life was forever changed when he came face to face with Jesus and was forced to carry His cross up that hill. I believe the application for us here today is, the very cross you're fighting against may well bring the greatest unexpected blessing that changes your life.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name


Copyright © 2019-2024 All Rights Reserved


The Brian Monzon Ministries



Email *

Message *

Check Out Our Most Popular Messages

You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th